The Central Importance of Humility in Soul-Level Blending
Copyright 2013-2017 by Joseph Ben Hil-Meyer Research, Inc.
By Bruce Berkowsky, N.M.D., M.H., H.M.C.
Brief Overview of the Art of Spiritual PhytoEssencing
(SPE), a system of soul-level healing work with
essential oils that I began developing in the mid-1990s, features the use of
two types of essential oil blends: constitutional and situational.
The constitutional blend is referred to as the “custom blend,” because
it is customized to reflect the unique inner soul nature of one particular
Situational blends are prepared
to illuminate and activate key spiritual perspectives regarding specific life
situations such as illness challenges, divorce, encountering a pivotal
crossroad in one’s life, dying, grieving, etc. Situational blends, while
customized, are more limited in personal scope than constitutional blends, and
can be formulated to be relevant for more than just one person. During the 2014
SPE Training Intensive (begins in March), the blending exercise will
be dedicated to a situation blend I am developing called Adieu (the
French term for farewell that literally means “to God”). It is designed
for the dying, caring for the dying, grief and contact with the soul in the
In SPE, the
term archetype refers to a unique intangible construct of the soul that
is a storehouse and generator of a specific pattern of psycho-spiritual and
physical expressions. One of the effects of an SPE essential oil blend is to
help the “I” within a person’s soul reestablish its governing influence. The
“I” is the immortal aspect of the soul, which journeys through the cycle of
birth, death and rebirth. It carries with it the “DNA” of past life qualities
and brings them to the portal of rebirth where it picks up new ones.
The “I” is
the core of being. It is that which is aware. Its full assertion is required
for the potential to achieve wholeness of being via engagement in soul-to-soul
relationships with people, animals, plants, essential oils and all the other
inspirited elements of the natural universe. As all
of these are imbued with a level of divine consciousness, it is only through
this ongoing pattern of developing a relation with the other ensouled
components of the natural universe that can one can overcome the inertial
“stuckness” associated with estrangement from one’s true self: the living
Anthroposophical science teaches that plants produce
fragrance as a means of absorbing “the soul” of the sun, which contains the
essence of spirit. Fragrance formation represents an interaction between
terrestrial and cosmic forces, and it’s used by the plant as a means of uniting
with the spiritual essence contained within sunbeams.
Anthroposophy founder Rudolf Steiner states: “Matter is
most spiritual in the perfume of the plant. When the spirit most closely
approaches the physical earth, then we have the perception of fragrance.” In
other words, an essential oil is the most concentrated carrier of the
plant’s soul. Therefore, the individualized soul-nature of each oil, like each
person’s soul-nature, is a product of the particular composition of
non-material, archetypal forms. These archetypal forms give rise to the oil’s
Accordingly, effective deep soul-level healing work with
essential oils is largely dependent upon the accurate identification of the
prominent plant-soul archetypes within each of a wide spectrum of essential
oils. These essential oil archetypal profiles are then matched with prominent
soul-level archetypes within either an individual for whom a blend is intended
or the set
of themes and feelings that serve as the blueprint for a specific situational
blend. The deep soul-level healing action of a blend is derived from this congruence
between the plant souls within an essential oil blend and the soul of the
person who uses it.
One of the
basic tenets of SPE is that in order for healing work with essential oils to be
consistently effective and life changing, direct interface with an individual’s
innermost realm: the soul, must be achieved.
unique archetypal construct represents the actual fabric of his or her soul,
the starting point for developing a customized, soul-healing essential oil
blend for someone is to identify the central archetypal disturbances that
underlie the outwardly expressed archetypal images (e.g., anxiety, depression,
discouragement, disease) of his or her core disharmony and conflict.
exclusively upon the amelioration of symptoms (i.e., the archetypal
images), while perhaps providing a degree of relief, exerts no lasting
impression upon the dynamics of the disharmonious archetypal state that
constitutes the central disturbance in most cases of chronic disease and/or
The only way
to achieve fundamental transformation on a true-self level is via direct
engagement of the soul’s archetypal components.
Activating the Soul-Level Healing Potential Within Essential Oils
Via Soul-Level Humility
unsatisfactory result in accessing the inner environs of the soul of the person
for whom an essential oil blend is intended is due to the blender’s investment
of all of his or her focus on the technical aspects of the analytical and
blending processes while neglecting the parallel track of the development of
soul-to-soul relation with the oils and other aspects of engagement with
healing work with essential oils requires that the blender operate from the
higher precincts of the soul. Of course, the process of essential oil selection
and blend formulation is primarily directed by rational intellect. However,
once the blend has been formulated and the actual blending begins, emotional
feeling and the primeval instincts of the animal soul-level of consciousness
must be recruited. In conjunction, these three capacities build a bridge to
spirit, and from that point forward spirit becomes the final arbiter regarding
the proportional presence of each oil within a given blend.
consciousness is solely employed during the process of blending, the resultant
blend will have been created by the same level of consciousness which is used
to navigate along the finite channels of daily life rather than the level which
has the potential to draw upon the boundless light that emanates from the
spiritual ground of all being. Such a blend will have a static, mechanical
nature that lacks both the nimbleness and illuminescense needed to penetrate
complex layers of psychical resistance and engage with the inner sanctum of the
At first, some students find it difficult to forsake the
security of the well defined, yet undeniably limited parameters of rational
consciousness. In other words, they find it difficult to move beyond what 19th
century philosopher William James refers to as “the compound world of
physical facts and emotional values in indistinguishable combination.”
these students are able to let go of the “side of that pool” and swim freely
within the realm of spirit. The intent to influence the souls of others while
remaining firmly ensconced within the armored outer shell of one’s own soul
obstructs the blossoming of a form of humility, essential to soul-level healing
work. This form of humility is not a consequence of deficient self-esteem, but instead,
is effected by clear connection to one’s higher soul.
The Tree Of Life Vessel Of Keter
is the highest vessel on the Tree Of Life of the Kabbalah (see diagram).
In the Kabbalah, the Tree Of Life serves as a cosmological model that explains
how divine qualities, which, prior to Creation, existed only in potential
within the infinite spiritual ground of all being, were diffused into the
domain of the material world whereupon they were incorporated into all the
ensouled elements of the natural world.
highest vessel on the Tree Of Life (actually an upside-down tree whose roots
are in heaven and whose branches reach downward toward the material world),
Keter represents the pinnacle of the higher soul. Keter is the point of interface
between the Infinite and emanated creation. It is completely hidden from
rational consciousness and conception as it is imbued with the quality of
infinity. For this reason, Keter is referred to as ayin—“nothingness.”
It is the primeval root of all reality, which it vitalizes in order to
ultimately perform all actions within the material realm.
century kabbalist (author of Gates Of Light) Rabbi Joseph Gikatilla
explained: “Because of the hiddenness of Keter, utterly remote from all
creatures, it cannot be gazed upon but only heard.” Keter is a crown in the
sense that it is the focal point of the divine energy that hovers just above,
and encompasses, all Creation while remaining beyond the bounds of conscious
awareness. As a crown, it rests atop the body, but it is not part of the body
Keter is the
superconscious source of faith. The power of faith emanates from the hidden
juncture where the human soul clings to its divine source (i.e., Keter). It is
this connection that imbues the soul with its eternal quality. This is the
basis for the verse from Deuteronomy 4:4: “You who cling to God, your Lord,
are alive, everyone of you this day.” As the power of faith originates in
the superconscious realm of Keter, it is entirely abstract and unstructured.
century Hasidic sage, Rabbi
Nachman of Breslov offers this wisdom concerning the subjugation of
subjective thoughts and development and deepening of one’s faith in God as
ultimately being the fundamental pathway of spiritual healing: “When things
are very bad, make yourself into nothing. Close your mouth and your eyes—and
you are like nothing. Sometimes you may feel overwhelmed by evil thoughts,
finding it impossible to overcome them. You must then make yourself like
nothing. You no longer exist, your eyes and mouth are closed. Every thought is
banished. Your mind ceases to exist. You have nullified yourself completely
toward self-nullification as a product of faith is related to Keter’s
identification with ayin—nothingness. Implicit within Rabbi Nachman’s
teaching is the importance of another quality that originates within the
environs of Keter and which it transmits downward toward the earthly realm: humility.
considered to be the source of humility because, despite being the loftiest of
all the vessels of the Tree Of Life, its direct interface with the divine realm
informs it that, compared to God: the All In All, it is a mere storage
vessel for (not the originator of) divine light.
Angela of Foligno: Important Insight from a 13th Century Mystic
Foligno was a 13th century Italian Christian mystic who led a life
devoted to the perfection of her soul, in part via an understanding of the
deepest spiritual mysteries. She was noted not only for her spiritual writings,
but also for the founding of a religious community that she refused to
affiliate with any well-established religious order so that it would be free to
fulfill her inspired vision regarding caring for the needy.
quote from Angela of Foligno’s writings can serve as a nearly perfect template
for the mixture of faith, understanding and humility which is required in the
art of Spiritual PhytoEssencing: deep soul-level healing work with essential
“The eyes of my soul were opened and I beheld the plenitude
of God, wherein I did comprehend the whole world, both here and beyond the sea
and the abyss and ocean and all things.
In all these things I beheld naught save the divine power in
a manner assuredly indescribable; so that through excess of marveling my soul
cried with a loud voice, saying: ‘The whole world is full of God!’
Wherefore I now comprehended how small a thing is the whole
world. That is to say both here and beyond the seas, the abyss, the ocean and
all things; and that the power of God exceeds and fills all.
Then He said unto me: ‘I have shown thee something of my
power,’ and I understood that after this I should better understand the rest.
He then said: ‘Behold now My humility.’
Then was I given an insight into the deep humility of God
toward mankind. And comprehending the indescribable power and beholding that
deep humility, my soul marveled greatly, and did esteem itself to be nothing at
We can clearly see within Angela of Foligno’s description of her
mystical experience, the elements of faith, understanding and humility
previously discussed in relation to Keter.
It is only when the blender forsakes ego and obedience to the dictates
of the relative in favor of those of the absolute (thereby immersing within the
light of humility that emanates from Keter-Nothingness) can he or she create an
essential oil blend that has the potential to serve as a conduit to spirit and
actualization of the real self.
Humility and Essential Oils as Teachers
In traditional spiritual practices, respect for the teacher is a
primary aspect of the development of soul-level humility. In this reference, we
must regard each of the oils we work with as one of our teachers.
Buber’s philosophy of dialogue, eloquently elaborated in his book I and
Thou, has greatly influenced me in my development of both the theoretical
structure and techniques of the art of Spiritual PhytoEssencing. Buber’s
central point is that one encounters spirit only through a meeting of souls at
a “between” space. This “I-Thou” meeting engenders the development of pure
relation characterized by caring and reciprocity. In contrast, the more common
and generally superficial “I-It” experience is characterized by one’s lack of
acknowledgement on a soul-to-soul level, thus using and experiencing
rather than knowing and caring.
In this reference, Buber in I And Thou writes:
and grace are joined that as I contemplate the tree I am drawn into relation,
the tree ceases to be an It. This does not require me to forego any of the
modes of contemplation. There is nothing that I must not see in order to see,
and there is no knowledge that I must forget. Rather is everything, picture and
movement, species and instance, law and number included and inseparably fused.
Whatever belongs to the tree is included: its form and its
mechanics, its colors and its chemistry, its conversation with the elements and
its conversation with the stars—all this in its entirety. The tree is no impression, no play
of my imagination, no aspect of a mood; it confronts me bodily and has to deal
with me as I must deal with it—only differently.
here not the deed of posture of an individual being but a reciprocity of being
itself—a reciprocity that has nothing except
being. The living wholeness and unity of a tree that denies itself to the eye,
no matter how keen, of anyone who merely investigates, while it is manifest to
those who say Thou [who
acknowledge the tree’s unique “I,” or singular soul-nature], is present when
they are present: they grant the tree the opportunity to manifest it,
and now the tree that has being manifests it.
Our habits of thought make it difficult for us to see that
in such cases something is awakened by our attitude and flashes toward us from
that which has being. What matters in this sphere is that we should do justice
with an open mind to the actuality that opens before us.”
if the aura of soul-level humility envelops us when we work with essential
oils, to paraphrase Buber, we give them the opportunity to manifest their
being, and now the oils that have being manifest it. In this process, the oils
reveal their inner mysteries to us and we are guided by both the spirit of the
oils and the coordinated capacities of our own souls to weave those mysteries
into a blend that has the capacity to heal another soul.
dedicated practice, this type of humility becomes second nature, we have the
ability to develop soul-to-soul relation with all the sentient beings, plant
and animal, within the natural world. Each of these beings, from lowest to
highest in the order of consciousness, then has the potential to serve as a
is implicit within the following anecdote regarding the 18th century
Hasidic sage Rabbi Dove Baer of Mezritch (the Great Maggid; maggid is a
Hebrew word meaning wandering preacher), excerpted from Martin Buber’s Tales
Of The Hasidim:
maggid’s death, his disciples came together and talked about the things he had
done. When it was Rabbi Schneur Zalman’s turn [another 18th century
Hasidic sage], he asked them: ‘Do you know why our master went to the pond
every day at dawn and stayed there for a little while before coming home
again?’ They did not know why. Rabbi Zalman continued: ‘He was learning the
song with which the frogs praise God. It takes a very long time to learn that
Dr. Bruce Berkowsky,
founder and teacher of Spiritual PhytoEssencing,
is an internationally acclaimed master of deep soul-level healing work with
essential oils. His 2014 Spiritual PhytoEssencing
Training Intensive (webinar-based) begins in March.
Details about this course will be posted on www.naturalhealthscience.com in
If you are
interested in studying with Dr. Berkowsky and would like a free recording
wherein he discusses the theoretical foundation of Spiritual PhytoEssencing,
e-mail your request for the recording link
Written by Dr. Bruce Berkowsky, N.M.D., M.H., H.M.C.
Dr. Berkowsky, a registered naturopath, master herbalist and classical homeopath--is President of Joseph Ben Hil-Meyer Research, Inc. He is the founder/teacher of both Spiritual PhytoEssencing and the Natural Health Science System which he designed following many years of research and clinical practice, and includes herbology, nutrition, homeopathy, aromatherapy, exercise, traditional nature-cure as well as East/West healing arts/bodywork. Dr. Berkowsky teaches in-depth seminars/teleseminars/workshops to health-care professionals and spiritually aware individuals.
Disclaimer: This publication is intended as an educational tool, and not as a prescription. Seek the advice of your health-care provider before discontinuing any medication and/or trying any new remedy or technique.